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Printed: 31/10/2020
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Last updated: 15/01/2020

Adoption — Responding to relative intercountry adoption proposals

Use this policy when family/whānau members want to adopt a tamaiti who is related to them from another country.

Child study timeframes

You must ensure that the family/whānau is aware of the potentially long timeframes for getting a child study report from overseas and ask them to consider the impact of this on te tamaiti and themselves.

Intercountry request for child study

Placement of te tamaiti before adoption

The social worker must inform the family/whānau that they need to carefully consider the attachments of te tamaiti before they make any arrangements to place te tamaiti in a temporary situation either in the country of origin or in New Zealand, on the assumption that an adoption will occur.

Often these steps have already been taken before an enquiry about an intercountry adoption is received.

It's the responsibility of the family/whānau of te tamaiti who have made arrangements to ensure that the emotional, health and education needs of te tamaiti are met while the intercountry adoption application is in process.

The social worker must explain to the family/whānau that the life of te tamaiti shouldn't be unnecessarily displaced or put on hold because of a potential intercountry adoption.

If te tamaiti is in immediate need of care and protection

An adoption application isn't an appropriate process to address insecurity of care if te tamaiti appears in immediate need of care or protection.

If there are identified concerns for the safety and wellbeing of te tamaiti in their current care, the family/whanau should inform the appropriate child welfare authorities in the country of residence of te tamaiti about the situation.

If there are no designated child protection services in the home country of te tamaiti, the family/whānau should seek an alternative intermediate solution to ensure security of care for this tamaiti.